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  • Bailing Out Massachusetts?

    Is the Bush Administration supporting yet another bailout?

    After seven delays and months of negotiations between Massachusetts and federal officials over the renewal of the state’s Medicaid demonstration waiver which supports its landmark health reform, State House News Service has just reported that a deal has been struck.

    While the details of the waiver renewal are so far being withheld by both state and federal officials, there was a press conference today at 2pm where Gov. Patrick announced the deal.

    As my colleague Ed Haislmaier and I wrote in our recent analysis:

    The last renewal of this long-standing waiver in 2005 was the catalyst for Massachusetts adopting a package of major health reform measures in 2006. One of the major reform elements was an agreement between state and federal officials as to how Massachusetts would redirect federal Medicaid funds previously flowing to “safety net” institutions. The 2006 amendments to the waiver made Massachusetts one of the first states in the nation to attempt a large-scale shift in public health care funding away from subsidizing health care providers for delivering care to the uninsured and instead subsidizing the purchase of health insurance coverage for the low-income uninsured. This fundamental policy shift—from subsidizing institutions to subsidizing people—should not now be reversed or diluted in a new waiver extension. The outcome of these negotiations will not only affect health reform in Massachusetts; it will also set an important policy precedent for other states considering similar reform measures.

    Now its time to see what type of precedent will be set.

    Will the Bush Administration attempt to bailout a fiscally irresponsible state that’s undermining its own reform by failing to shift money away from politically connected institutions? Or will the Bush Administration do the right thing by insisting that existing Medicaid dollars are appropriately redirected to help low-income individuals purchase health insurance coverage?

    If President Bush makes the wrong choice, Congress should be prepared to act on behalf of federal taxpayers.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Bailing Out Massachusetts?

    1. John W. says:

      Congress Act??? On behalf of Federal Taxpayers???

      That's a good one! Perhaps Leno will use it!

    2. John Parker, NH says:

      This is nothing more than a small $$ snap shot, of what would happen if the federal government tried to nationalize healthcare. We "the people"

      need to take back our government, and get rid of kick-backs, and pork projects. The commonwealth of taxachusetts voted for this, it's a state problem, not a national problem…..yet.

    3. Terrance M. says:

      My wife and I fled Massachusetts 7 years ago moving to what was then the fiscally responsible and red state of New Hampshire.

      Just when we thought we were safe, we now see that the entire country is left to pay for the corrupt and forever failing left wing policies and programs that has left the Commonwealth morally bankrupt.

      If there is no Federal bailout, Massachusetts will be fiscally bankrupt and in receivership within 12 years. (imho)

    4. Pingback: ZDNet Healthcare mobile edition

    5. Dave McDuffie, lagun says:

      George W Bush is a complete moron and the most liberal president in our history, and the liberals still hate him to the core! Don't you dare take taxpayer funds and bail out these irresponsible idiots in Massachusetts! Let Ted"Killer" Kenedy do it! He needs to do something positive for the first time in his disgusting hate-America life!

    6. Dave McDuffie, lagun says:

      We need to start bailing out congress, NOW! That is, get a huge bucket and fill it with these do-nothing, fill-their-own-pockets congress"people" and throw them the hell out! And while we are at it, throw out 90% of the left wing news anchors/journalists and put in people who will tell us the truth!! Is that too much to ask for?? The TRUTH, not SPIN or PROPEGANDA or throwing a republican under the bus! They NEVER throw a democrat under the bus, like Clinton or Edwards or even Jefferson who did not know where that $90,000 cash in his freezer came from! They just stop covering them for awhile. Now the news media together with Hollywood can take credit, full credit for focing Obama on us.

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